My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Thirteen-year-old Emily Poe has been given the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to attend the exclusive Audyn School in Manhattan. But to win the scholarship, she has to pass a test like nothing she’s ever experienced before: a nearly bare room, a set of strange clues, a locked door. Plus, a mysterious organization—the Leopold Foundation—is watching her every move.
But the real test has just begun. Despite the strange circumstances—in a new house, at a new school—Emily instantly bonds with fellow scholarship winner Alice Wray.
And then Alice goes missing.
Chronicling every surprising twist and turn of her search through her own private video diary, Emily sets out to find the truth behind Alice’s disappearance. Soon, she’s drawn deep into the inner circle of the Audyn School’s elite, the Nobility, who each have secrets of their own. As clues and lies mount, Emily must sort truth from fiction to solve The Mystery of Alice before it’s too late.
I am a bit bummed that I had spent one of my earned credits on this book. The synopsis sounds so promising, but the reviews don’t lie! This book is…odd.
The main character, Emily Poe, gets invited to take a test that would earn her a free ride scholarship to a school. The test is no ordinary fill in the bubble test, but one that is filled with a mind game of various riddles that are needed to be solved in order to win the test. The only two that win are Alice and Emily.
Emily is your average, smart 13 year old, telling the story from a video diary. There are many times that she resembles a 13 year old with her Poe Dictionary words that she creates.
Alice is the mysterious girl that befriends Emily because they won the test together. They reside next door to each other in New York City dorm hall. She is never seen without her black diary, scribbling within its pages, and never wanting her picture taken.
The mean group of the school are the loaded rich “nobility.” Alice pines for their attention and is convinced that they aren’t as bad as everyone else in the school believes. She starts to hang out with them more and suddenly just ignores Emily. Emily, hurt at being left for the nobility, accepts that Alice is no longer her friend. Until one night Alice’s dad arrives at Emily’s door step in a drunken rage, wanting to know Alice’s whereabouts. Emily grows worried for her friend that she’s in trouble. The last time she sees Alice is when Alice knocks on Emily’s door in the middle of the night rambling about “They’re always watching.” The next day, Alice is missing. Emily teams up with the nobility to search for Alice. Emily follows the clues searching for her friend to discover that is was all a trick! She follows the clues to Nathan’s, a random boy that had been pining for Alice’s attention, cabin house and discovers Alice is perfectly fine. It was a trap set by the nobility because they basically get an adrenaline rush from taking part in crimes and framing other kids for it. Don’t forget, these are just 7th graders here…But this trick is worse than all the others from their past. They plan to murder Emily and frame Nathan. Just as they throw Emily in the water (she can’t swim), Alice jumps in and saves Emily.
How the heck did these nobility kids set up the Leopold Foundation with an allowance for Emily and Alice, and for their boarding house, without their parents knowing????
7th graders are able to think of this insane plan to commit murder and frame Nathan?? They have a mental problem!!!
Where the hell are Emily’s parents in all of this? I think they would have been a bit more involved in the end after their only daughter’s near death experience.
So we introduce this twisted back story of Alice and her dad, but just drop it? Like, we’re not going to build off her dad visiting the boarding house in a drunken rage? It is there, then never spoken of again. Why????
The narrator/writing is exactly how I’d imagine a teen girl to sound like. Very realistic that aspect, but again, not of a 13 year old, more like an early high schooler.